Matt Moore never had a chance.
Playing behind a backup offensive line for most the day, Moore was the first to get a true taste of Kevin Coyle’s new defense in Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage. Had it been at full-contact, it would have tasted like grass and dirt.
Moore had directed the second-string offense to just one first down in his first three possessions, a byproduct of a particularly active defensive front.
Jared Odrick ended one drive with a pass deflection. Koa Misi crippled another with a sack. And Karlos Dansby snuffed out a third with good pursuit in pass coverage.
“I feel like the defense played well,” said Odrick, who also recorded a sack, as did Cameron Wake in his first game-simulated action as a defensive end in Coyle’s varied system.
“It’s not exactly a 4-3,” Odrick said. “There are tons of things that we were doing last year that we’re doing this year, and we played a true 3-4 last year. It’s a very diverse defense, and I think we’re all falling into our roles at a perfect time.”
This and that
• Chad Johnson led all receivers with five catches for 42 yards in his Sun Life Stadium home debut, but he will probably remember that one that got away.
On the first drive of the scrimmage, David Garrard directed the offense down the field, and had Johnson open in the end zone. Garrard put the pass on the money, but Johnson dropped it.
Still, it was a strong debut for the 34-year-old Miami native. Meanwhile, tight end Anthony Fasano was a weapon in the red zone, finishing the practice game with two scores on three catches.
Legedu Naanee also had a touchdown catch, one of his five receptions on the afternoon.
• Call it a hunch, but the smart money is on Dolphins coach Joe Philbin working on shotgun snaps early and often when the team returns to practice Monday.
Two hit the ground Saturday — one between Mike Pouncey and David Garrard, and the other from Josh Samuda to Ryan Tannehill.
“I don’t like our [shot-]gun snaps,” Tannehill said. “You can’t do that in a game and expect to win.”
• The Dolphins moved the start time of Saturday’s scrimmage up an hour because of an ominous weather forecast — never materialized.
The announcement came shortly after 7 a.m. — just an hour before the event’s new start time – and there were undoubtedly many fans who didn’t get the message.
The crowd, announced as 8,721, was understandably late.
“As you could tell, we’re real experts at the weather,” Philbin said sardonically following the scrimmage, under a flawless sky. “That was my call. It was my brilliant decision.”
• The Dolphins and punter Brandon Fields finalized a four-year contract extension Saturday that makes Fields, 28, the fifth-highest paid punter in the league, his agent has announced. Fields will be paid $13.3 million over the course of the deal, including $3.3 million in guaranteed money.